Welcome friends! The last several months have been rough for my writing “career” with not a whole lot happening behind the scenes nor out front but perhaps I just turned a corner. I’m pretty excited!
What very few know is how tumultuous the last 6-8 months of my life have been. Don’t worry this isn’t a “pity me” post I don’t do that shit but there are some relevant parts I’ll share as it affects what I do here and in my writing career such that it is. If you’ve followed me here for some time you know what happened to me back in July and August of last year so I won’t be redundant (if you aren’t aware and want to be you can read about it HERE). Anyway as a result of what I put myself through I was prescribed medication which has turned out to be a god send and a curse all at the same time. The great part is that it has virtually removed anxiety from my life completely which was a major cause of a lot of my problems. However, along with that great part, my medication also makes me feel tired all day every day. Having that afternoon lull in energy where you drink a cup of coffee or an energy drink to get through it is how I feel pretty much all the time. Due to this, writing has been extremely difficult since writing isn’t a high energy activity. I have no lack of good ideas but now when I sit down to write it’s like I have to drag out each word kicking and screaming from my brain. This may not seem like or even be a major problem for most people but for a writer there probably isn’t anything more frustrating than not being able to write while not suffering from so-called “writer’s block.” Despite this I plan to try submitting my work to as many different publishers this year as I possibly can to try getting more of it out there. As difficult as writing has been that is still my goal.
I currently have five stories submitted to a couple of different publishers which I’m still awaiting responses on. I also had my first submission and rejection of 2017 already so that is out of the way. I usually take rejection pretty well but I admit that one stung more than it probably should have due to the problem I discussed above. I busted my ass to complete that submission by the deadline only to have it summarily shot down by a slightly larger indie publisher I was really hoping to make an inroad with but that’s life. I’ll admit I was pretty down about this rejection but all you can really do is move forward and try again. To that end one of my writer friends shared a post about a contest through Horror Addicts called “The Next Great Horror Writer Contest.” I’d thank that friend by name but honestly I forgot who originally posted it, sorry. I clicked on the link for the contest expecting that I wouldn’t be qualified for some reason or there would be something else preventing me from entering only to find there wasn’t! Better yet what really caught my eye was the panel of about a dozen judges many of whom were editors from different publishers including the one I had just gotten rejected from (though not the editor that rejected my story). Instead of hanging my head and giving up hope I got excited at the idea of just having that kind of exposure even if I didn’t make the first cut or end up winning. Having some different publishers know your name couldn’t be a bad thing I thought.
So I began preparing my entry which was pretty simple other than one “little” part. As part of entering the contest they wanted basically a writing sample but as simple as it sounds it can be one of the hardest things to do. I needed to write a 100-word story to complete my entry. Jack Rollins (writer and editor for Dark Chapter Press) once joked with me, “It takes me a 10,000 words to say hello” to which I agreed I suffered the same problem. So trying to write something compelling in 100 words is something I find insanely difficult. I thought about it for a few hours finally coming up with an idea I thought I could do in that kind of word restraint then I wrote it. Of course, I was way over the 100 word limit and had to hack off quite a bit keeping it to just the nuts and bolts, so to speak. My apologies for not being able to share it with you at this time but I will when I'm able to do so. Agonizing over the writing and editing I finally decided it was about as good as I could get it so with a deep breath and fingers crossed I sent in my entry a couple weeks early knowing I wouldn’t hear anything until March then, of course, when March 1st finally hit I had pretty much forgotten about it. This past Friday my folks were out of town so I thought I’d do something nice for them and completely clean their house and fix the kitchen table that my mom has been bitching at my dad about for years. After cleaning for a couple hours blasting some tunes I was hot & sweaty so I took a break at which time I decided to check my e-mail. I about crapped my pants when I saw an email from Horror Addicts, expecting it to say something along the lines of, “thank you for your entry but unfortunately…” which is the kind of rejection I’ve received numerous times. Instead I opened the email only to find this message, “Congratulations! You have made it to the next step of the contest. You are currently in the TOP TWENTY.” I couldn’t be happier about this! Not only have I now put my name and work before several influential people in the horror business but I actually have a chance to win!
So now I’m officially in the running for the coveted grand prize which was the main reason I entered the contest. The grand prize isn’t a million dollars or a brand new car, it’s something even better! The grand prize is having your first novel published! Some contests I’ve entered have been for cash but knowing that a win here means I could have a novel finally published is the best thing I could possibly win though if someone out there would like to send me boatloads of cash I wouldn’t really complain! This contest has only just begun and it looks like it will be a fairly long journey with several "challenges" to complete and the winner being announced later in the year around October of November. Right now I’m in the Top 20 with a chance to actually win! I still plan to continue submitting my work with as many different publishers as I can to help me expand my exposure to more horror fans but being a part of this contest is huge for me even if I make it no further. I will keep everyone appraised of anything and everything happening with the stories I already have submitted and on my progress through this fantastic contest. Could I really be the “Next Great Horror Writer”? Only time will tell but at least I have a chance and I’m extremely happy about that. Cross your fingers for me while I wait for the next cut to see if I make it further! I do not know when the next cut will take place or if the cut will be to 10 or 15 writers but I will let you know as soon as I know. Thank you all for the support you have shown me along my writing journey so far, I promise you I’m only just getting started regardless of what happens with this contest!
No Prayers Needed, I Got This!
You can check out several of my short stories right here on the site or stop by S Mart for my published work.
Feel free to wish me luck in the comments below.
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